ECONOMIC OVERVIEW The global economic situation has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing since 2020. Many countries have to implement lockdown measures and social distancing. As a result, the global economy has been severely sluggish. However, in 2021, the economy began to recover from the progress of vaccine distribution, the relaxation of pandemic control measures, and economic stimulus policies in many countries around the world. However, there was still some pressure from the rise of inflation and increased public debt from economic stimulus policies, including the mutation of the COVID-19 virus, Delta variant. They were negative factors affecting the economy. The global economy in 2021 was projected to increase by 5.9% compared to 2020 (IMF, October 2021), and the growth rate recovered to a level that was comparable to a preCOVID-19 crisis in 2019. The outlook of the world economy in 2022 is expected to continue improving, driven by large economies that have recovered rapidly after effective stimulus measures and vaccine distribution. But there are still some uncertainties about the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic; along with the mutation of the COVID-19 virus, the new Omicron variant, which has started to spread since the end of 2021, is the ongoing force. Consequently, the global economy is projected to recover and grow 4.9% compared to 2021 (IMF, October 2021). The Thai economy in 2021 is expected to slightly grow 0.7% in response to the government’s stringent COVID-19 measures, adversely affected the private consumption, household revenue, and tourism revenue that have been decelerated greatly. However, there were still some positive factors from government spending to stimulate the economy and exports that began to expand according to the recovery of trading counterparts. Meanwhile, the Thai economy in 2022 is likely to expand at 3.9% from the relaxation of pandemic control measures, the continuous distribution of vaccines, and the reopening measure will help stimulate the economy in both household and tourism sectors. However, there are still some risk factors for viral mutations and the continuity of government measures to support the economy in the long term. (Bank of Thailand, October, 2021). MARKET OVERVIEW - PETROLEUM The situation of the crude oil market in 2021 recovered from the COVID-19 situation due to the increasing number of vaccinations. As a result, global oil demand was likely to expand by 5.5 million barrels per day compared to 2020 (data from the International Energy Agency-IEA as of November 2021). The spreading of the Delta variant in India, Southeast Asia, Australia during the third quarter resulted in a slowdown in crude oil demand. However, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the demand for oil increased, due to the light pandemic situation, especially in the Asian region. Ground travel across the world returned to near-normal, similar to pre-COVID-19 outbreak, while air travel recovered at 60%. During November, it was found that the outbreak of COVID-19 In Europe rose again during the winter from those who were not vaccinated, causing Europe to announce travel restrictions or lockdown measures again. In addition to the outbreak of the Omicron virus, a new variant of a mutant virus originating from South Africa, a country with a low vaccination rate, The World Health Organization was concerned about the spread of the Omicron virus including the uncertainty of vaccine efficacy. As a result, many countries announced travel restrictions or more stringent measures to prevent the spread of the new virus. As a result of this concern, oil demand slowed again at the end of the year. In terms of crude oil production, it was found that large manufacturers such as OPEC Plus and the United States did not adjust the production volume to the extent of the recovered demand. The OPEC Plus group resolved to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day from July 2021 until September 2022, but the actual production volume was lower than the agreement. Because some member countries were unable to increase production capacity as targeted, such as Angola and Nigeria, due to the lack of investment and maintenance of production causing the oil price to rise continuously, this led major oi l-user countries, MARKET AND COMPETITION 59 BUSINESS OPERATION AND PERFORMANCE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE FINANCIAL REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS APPENDIX